The thought “How did I end up here?” does cross my mind every once in a while. It’s not a question with a negative connotation, but rather at times, one of amazement.
I work in an industry that I barely knew existed in college, which is ironic, because I currently work with colleges. I am a higher educational consultant, but in my position at Huron Consulting Group, I have yet to have any contact with college students (unless you count eating lunch next to them in the dining hall). Our company focuses on the “business-side” of higher education, which I find very intriguing. I love working in a corporate environment while doing work that furthers the mission of non-profit organizations. In my opinion, it’s the ideal combination.
So, how did I end up here? I will give a lot of credit to the late John Cawthorne who was the Dean of the School of Education while I was at BC. I met with him one day as a freshman and discussed how I loved the field of education but did not think I had enough patience to be a teacher. He assured me that the Lynch School of Education would be a great fit, and I transferred in from A&S at the beginning of my sophomore year. Through reflection, trial and error (I learned from an internship that I was not meant to work in HR…), and conversations with many people (including John) I started to think that I’d like to work in a University after I graduated. To test out this theory, I asked the Office of Institutional Advancement at Boston College if they would like an intern for the semester. They gladly accepted, and my “career” in higher education began. I also asked Dr. Kenny who was a contact at the Lynch School if she needed any help with her research as I did not want to rule that avenue out – she said “yes” as well. If I can give you any advice about internships, just ask!
As of today, I’m on my third job post-graduation from my Master’s program at Boston College. I finished up my Master’s in Higher Education at Boston College in 2009 and started working at Harvard Business School soon thereafter. I learned an incredible amount about the “real world” as well as the inner workings of an Institutional Advancement Office while at Harvard and to broaden that knowledge and try something slightly different, in 2012 I accepted a position as a Research Analyst/Consultant at Eduventures, a Boston-based firm that focuses on serving higher educational institutions. A couple of years after that, my mom’s guilt trip finally worked, and I moved back home to Chicago to start my career at Huron. I joke that I moved back home “part-time” since I’m usually on the road in some other part of the country 4 days a week. I was lucky today and was able to work from my apartment in the city – I can’t complain about this view! I’d highly recommend moving to Chicago – we need a bigger BC contingency here!